Revelation: Did you know that '666' is not the number of the beast?
You may have heard of it and with a bit of luck you even read the Book of Revelation. Authored by John, one of Jesus' disciples, the last book of the New Testament recounts a series of events that will take over the earth at the end of time.
Among the accounts of his devastating visions of the end of the world, the prophet reports the arrival of two beasts in chapter 13. At this point, the disciple tells us that creatures force people to make marks on their hands or foreheads - the famous “mark”. of the beast ”- without which they could not buy or sell anything.
“Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of man. Its number is six hundred and sixty-six, ”says one of the translations of verse 18, which ends the chapter. And from then on, believers and unbelievers came to associate the number "666" with the devil and all that is related to hell and evil.
A new number
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It turns out that a fragment of the 3rd Century Book of Revelation was discovered and analyzed in 2005. The piece of the text was part of a series of intelligible manuscripts that had been previously found in Egypt. With new photography techniques, classic text experts deciphered the content of the original text and revealed that the true number of the beast is “616”.
David Parker, professor of textual criticism in the New Testament and Paleontology at the University of Birmingham, England, believes that "616" is the correct number, even though it is harder to remember than "666".
“This is a kind of geometry, where numbers are based on numerical values that equals letters of people's names. Ancient Christians used numbers to hide the identity of the people they attacked. 616 is a reference to Emperor Caligula, ”explained the expert.
Religious believe that the number, whatever it may be, serves only as a representation of what is evil. For others, the fact that scholars of the subject find a new number may give more credence, not to a probable apocalypse, but to a political critique of the Roman Empire that was made through hidden numbers and symbols to avoid an answer from the emperor.
And you, what do you think about this controversy? Leave your opinion in the comments.
* Originally posted 02/11/2013.
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